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Thread: Ankle Sprain Recovery?

  1. #1

    Ankle Sprain Recovery?

    Hi all,

    Does anyone have any experience recovering from a bad ankle sprain? Like how long it took, and tips for recovering?

    I rolled my left ankle badly back in May, such that I had to go to A&E as they initially thought it was broken. It was put down to torn ligaments and I was advised to use it but let pain be a guide.

    I decided to have a go at the Mont Blanc half in June despite it still being a bit sore, and predictably rolled it again. I've stayed off trails for the last two months now, doing cycling and a bit of road running instead. I still get a bit of swelling by the end of each day, and I just have a general feeling that it's not remotely healed. If I stand on the outside of my feet I feel a slight pain.

    It feels like if I ran off-road now I'd be liable to twist it again and not be able to prevent it rolling. To be honest it feels like it'll be a long time before I can confidently run off-road on it.

    I've been taking collagen/glucosamine supplement as I've been told it'll help repair the ligaments, I don't know if this helps or by how much. Any suggestions or advice?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire View Post
    Hi all,

    Does anyone have any experience recovering from a bad ankle sprain? Like how long it took, and tips for recovering?

    I rolled my left ankle badly back in May, such that I had to go to A&E as they initially thought it was broken. It was put down to torn ligaments and I was advised to use it but let pain be a guide.

    I decided to have a go at the Mont Blanc half in June despite it still being a bit sore, and predictably rolled it again. I've stayed off trails for the last two months now, doing cycling and a bit of road running instead. I still get a bit of swelling by the end of each day, and I just have a general feeling that it's not remotely healed. If I stand on the outside of my feet I feel a slight pain.

    It feels like if I ran off-road now I'd be liable to twist it again and not be able to prevent it rolling. To be honest it feels like it'll be a long time before I can confidently run off-road on it.

    I've been taking collagen/glucosamine supplement as I've been told it'll help repair the ligaments, I don't know if this helps or by how much. Any suggestions or advice?

    Cheers.

    I have done both ankles at different times and to be honest I just carried on running on the fells and hoped for the best. First ankle I did I did sprain again but things just sorted themselves out.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Knightrunner's Avatar
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    I've also done both ankles badly in the past (once each) and fully recovered from them. In a nutshell: walk then run as soon as you're over the ice and rest stage; take it easy and build up; go off road asap on good grass and flat sections, then move onto tussocks and rock hopping when you can. My first wrench was when I fell over a leaf on pavement, the second was descending a rocky mountain path at speed. Those variable causes plus my desire to get back to trails leads me to the view that at some point confidence is just as important as physical recovery. In old school terms that translates as get back out there when you can

  4. #4
    Cheers guys. I guess I'll have to gradually get back on the rougher stuff then. I suppose I'm fairly hesitant as the pain is still quite fresh in my mind, both times I was unable to walk for 24hrs and had to be collected, and I ended up with an ankle the size of a grapefruit.

  5. #5
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    Wobble board. I go over on my ankle when don't use it for a while, use and get strong, carry on using it, the get out of the habit. Repeat many times.
    A good wooden one does the trick along with hopping, using resistance bands round the table standing on one leg with eyes closed and controlled stretching.

  6. #6
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire View Post
    Hi all,

    Does anyone have any experience recovering from a bad ankle sprain? Like how long it took, and tips for recovering?

    I rolled my left ankle badly back in May, such that I had to go to A&E as they initially thought it was broken. It was put down to torn ligaments and I was advised to use it but let pain be a guide.

    I decided to have a go at the Mont Blanc half in June despite it still being a bit sore, and predictably rolled it again. I've stayed off trails for the last two months now, doing cycling and a bit of road running instead. I still get a bit of swelling by the end of each day, and I just have a general feeling that it's not remotely healed. If I stand on the outside of my feet I feel a slight pain.

    It feels like if I ran off-road now I'd be liable to twist it again and not be able to prevent it rolling. To be honest it feels like it'll be a long time before I can confidently run off-road on it.

    I've been taking collagen/glucosamine supplement as I've been told it'll help repair the ligaments, I don't know if this helps or by how much. Any suggestions or advice?

    Cheers.
    Torn ligaments? Only 4 months ago and you're running half marathons!! I'd knock a few notches off if i were you, no mistake. 4 mths is not enough time for a serious sprain let alone ligament tears, and having rolled it again in june you are heading for long term trouble. I'd cancel all your running completely until the new year and focus on a program of rest and bike rides, along with rehab. I'd get seen by a specialist sports physio too, to get the state of these ligament tears properly assessed. Don't run on it when you know it's crocked or you'll crock it again and again; your brain inhibits muscle activity in the area which is why you keep rolling it, and nerve fibres will be torn too. Don't go for a wobble board until you can stand on a wobble cushion with your eyes closed, boards are for advanced work not rehab work. In order...

    Stand on one leg
    Stand on one leg eyes shut
    Stand on wobble cushion
    Stand on wobble cushion eyes shut

    By closing your eyes you will immediately rely on nerve signals having lost visual references, this will repair the nerves faster.
    Can't climb for toffee...

  7. #7
    Thanks very much, perhaps not what I wanted to hear but sounds sensible. I have a wobble board but someone also lent me a wobble cushion recently - I'll start with that.

    You think really no running, not even on the flat/roads? I have the bike but to be honest, I don't like cycling, especially with the evenings getting darker now. I'll do it if I have to though, the last thing I want is to make my ankle worse.

    Edit: This was it on June 29 in Chamonix, that was after soaking it in an ice cold water trough for 15 minutes. The next day the whole ankle and outside of the foot were purple. Where the big swelling was, it's mostly gone now - though does come up slightly after a day on my feet. So from that alone I can tell it's not right yet.

    Last edited by Vampire; 09-09-2014 at 05:23 AM.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    I knew a few regular fell runners who have either permanently damaged or at least severely held up recovery from badly twisted ankles. One was very talented and as far as I know can't run now. Take your recovery seriously and don't rush back if its as serious as it looks. Good luck
    Poacher turned game-keeper

  9. #9
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    some sensible advice in here, pain is your body telling you that something isn't right, so best to listen. ligaments take a long time to heal as they have a poor blood supply, unlike muscles - ligaments are white (little blood to add colour) whereas muscles are red (lots of blood) and blood brings the healing 'stuff' to the area. definitely see someone (sports physio or remedial massage therapist) to advise what you should and shouldn't be doing as each person is unique, just like each injury. You've mentioned wobble cushion - is that a large one or hedgehog type? The hedgehog in this blog ( http://globaltherapies.wordpress.com...to-avoid-them/ ) can have the firmness altered by pumping more or less air into it so they are a good starting point for rehab. But, as mentioned above, you need to be strong and stable standing on one leg on the floor before introducing one of these.
    best of luck with the rehab
    Lynne

  10. #10
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire View Post
    Thanks very much, perhaps not what I wanted to hear but sounds sensible. I have a wobble board but someone also lent me a wobble cushion recently - I'll start with that.

    You think really no running, not even on the flat/roads? I have the bike but to be honest, I don't like cycling, especially with the evenings getting darker now. I'll do it if I have to though, the last thing I want is to make my ankle worse.

    Edit: This was it on June 29 in Chamonix, that was after soaking it in an ice cold water trough for 15 minutes. The next day the whole ankle and outside of the foot were purple. Where the big swelling was, it's mostly gone now - though does come up slightly after a day on my feet. So from that alone I can tell it's not right yet.

    Wow, that looks serious, i'd be very careful with that. A&E don't have a clue about things like what you're dealing with, i'd reiterate my advice that you need to see a sports physio and take that picture along too. You don't have to cycle if you don't want to, but it's the very most you can get away with on a badly crocked ankle; ideally don't do anything.
    Can't climb for toffee...

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